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Jeffries button issue


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During a robust session today, one button on my Jeffries Anglo decided to play games with me.

 

The notes are sounding continuously; the button is fully depressed, but when I pull it up, it just sits there limply, and the 2 notes continue to sound without any pressure on the button.

 

I'm guessing a broken spring, but would welcome any suggestions before I open it up.  If it's a spring: any suggestions on how to put on a new one? I do have spares, but have never performed this particular surgery.

 

Or is there another likely cause?

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You have  been very  lucky  Jim,

 

to have played  so many  years  on an  old  concertina without having to  replace a spring!!   

 

I  just love it  when a spring  breaks  or  a pad  comes loose  in the  middle  of  a session  or  a  gig,   to  be  expected, of  course  when  using old  machinery.  Having to  replace  a  spring  under  less than ideal  lighting  conditions  and  without  those  extra  powerful close focus  spectacles !  It  is  a fiddly  job  better  done  in  comfort  at  home  so , having been caught out  once or twice  I  prefer to  carry a spare  concertina.

 

While  you have  the  lid  off  you might want to  check  the  condition of  the  other  springs, though metal fatigue  is  not  too easy  to  spot,  and  look  for  loose pads  that  are  just  waiting for  an opportunity   to  add an unwanted  drone  to  your  performance.  Finding  both parts  of the  broken  spring  and   adjusting the  new  spring  to  the  playing pressure  you like  goes without  saying  BUT  with an  old  Jeffries  I  would  examine carefully  the  lever pivot  holes  which  can  become  quite  worn  after  100 +  years of  use.

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most likely a spring, there are two types, Left hand and Right hand when ordering get one of each to avoid disappointment. It is possible to turn a spring from one hand to another, but the hook end can break off. Try to avoid steel spring replacements, they can be a bit too strong. You are better with brass or phos-bronze replacements.

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I would think you could push in a new spring next to where the old one sheared off?

 

A spring broke on me in the middle of a gig - a piece of scotch tape quickly placed over the hole allowed the show to go on. But it sure messed with the concentration to hit a dead button!

 

Gary

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Use a spike to form the pilot for a new hole adjacent to the old spring anchorage point no harm will be done and you will be up and running again. That is what a professional would do. Short of digging out the old spring end, drilling or chiselling a cavity in the action plate, gluing in a bit of new wood, then dressing it flat before fitting your new spring, it is all that can be done. You often come across evidence of spring replacement with old spring holes and stubs left in them. It is no detriment, just a small footprint in the history of the concertina.

 

A 'get you away' remedy whilst waiting to replace a spring is a small piece of kitchen sponge pushed between the pivot post and the key, cut thick enough to hold the lever arm up and thus the pad in place.

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On 9/12/2021 at 5:36 AM, d.elliott said:

most likely a spring, there are two types, Left hand and Right hand when ordering get one of each to avoid disappointment.

 

Is there any general agreement on which is the right-hand spring and which is the left? I have always assumed that the right-hand spring is the one with the hook that curls around the lever like the fingers of the right hand and vice-versa, but I’ve never actually seen that in print. Page 25 of your book talks around it without actually making it clear, but suggests the other convention, saying that they “usually hook to the left” (which is what I would have called a right-hand spring), but does not explicitly say that this is a left-hand spring. For having a few spares, it’s easy enough to just order a few of each, but for replacing a whole collection with many that hook left and few that hook right it’s important that the buyer and the supplier are speaking the same language.

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9 hours ago, d.elliott said:

Use a spike to form the pilot for a new hole adjacent to the old spring anchorage point no harm will be done and you will be up and running again. That is what a professional would do. Short of digging out

 

A 'get you away' remedy whilst waiting to replace a spring is a small piece of kitchen sponge pushed between the pivot post and the key, cut thick enough to hold the lever arm up and thus the pad in place.

 

Thanks, Dave.  I thought about doing that, but given the age of the instrument and my own lack of skill, I decided to let a pro do it.

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On 9/17/2021 at 1:03 PM, David Barnert said:

 

Is there any general agreement on which is the right-hand spring and which is the left? I have always assumed that the right-hand spring is the one with the hook that curls around the lever like the fingers of the right hand and vice-versa, but I’ve never actually seen that in print. Page 25 of your book talks around it without actually making it clear, but suggests the other convention, saying that they “usually hook to the left” (which is what I would have called a right-hand spring), but does not explicitly say that this is a left-hand spring. For having a few spares, it’s easy enough to just order a few of each, but for replacing a whole collection with many that hook left and few that hook right it’s important that the buyer and the supplier are speaking the same language.

 

I have always wondered if my assumption about this is correct, Looking from the pivot post he LH spring has the pig-tail wound the the LH side of the anchor spike, and has the hook bending the the left of of the pigtail, The RH spring has it's pigtail wound on the other side of the anchor spike  with its hook bent to the right of the pigtail. I am probably wrong

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14 hours ago, d.elliott said:

I have always wondered ... I am probably wrong

 

As I suspected, the answer is: There is no real answer. If you want a few of each, you might order, say, three right-hand springs and three left-hand springs, and you’ll get just what you want. But if you want unbalanced numbers, or all the  same, it’s probably best to describe unmistakably what you want without referring to right-hand springs or left-hand springs.

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